The Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, has faulted the Presidential endorsement for the laying off of about 22,000 teachers in Kaduna State.
General Secretary of the NUT, Dr. Mike Eneh who spoke to New Telegraph on Monday in Abuja, noted that rather than layoff teachers under the guise of having failed a competency test, a retraining programme ought to have been organized to boost the quality and efficiency of the teachers in the state.
While stressing that the government of Kaduna State had no right whatsoever to conduct any form of test for teachers, as such was the mandate of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria TRCN, he noted that the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, had only ended up embarrassing himself and the state, and have proven beyond all reasonable doubt, the educational imbalance between the North and the South.
“It will be unfair if Mr. President listen to the one-sided story and decide to sack the teachers. If I were Mr. President, I could have called all parties involved including the stakeholders, the NUT, the people that set the exams and we dialogue to proffer solutions to know what to do,” he said.
Eneh who described the competency test and alleged failure as a lame excuse to cut down cost by reducing the workforce in the state disclosed that the union was not resting on its oars, but was joining forces with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to address the situation.
“The supervisory department of Kaduna state education department in the primary education from their Kaduna state superb is dead. That is simply what it means otherwise they were just conniving with the people to collect government money and they were eating it.
“Our position is that El-Rufai and the government of Kaduna state have decided to cut down on their workforce. We have learnt that local government and civil servants are on the line to take their own exams, if 22, 000 teachers can fail, it then means that civil servants and the local government workers who do not have the opportunity of going to school will fail the exams and he will sack everybody.
We are not laying low; we have several options we are going to take. The NUT has the backing of NLC, we are going to face him one on one. Nobody is intimidating him all we are saying is that as a governor he should give room for dialogue.
“Even in governance we cannot clap for all the governors and say that they are the best but to tell us that 21,000 teachers fail exams does not go down well with us. We are disputing it, we are arguing it and we want to find out how the 21,000 teachers failed. If we dialogue and we are convinced what he did was real and that nobody was cheated, we give up,” he added.
At the time of filing this report, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress was unavailable to react, as they were in the middle of an intense meeting deliberating on their next move.